Supplementary Material


Additional data files that contain information directly supportive of the document, for example, an audio clip, movie, database, spreadsheet, applet, or other external file

This element has a similar function to the <audiovisual> element in some XML tag sets and the <unprinted-item> element (used only for electronic files) in other tag sets.


The element is used in two senses: first, inside the article front matter as an alert to the existence of supplementary material; and second, as part of the textual flow, where it is similar to a Figure, in that it can be positioned as a floating or anchored object and may take a caption.

For the second usage, the position attribute may be used to indicate whether this element must be anchored at its exact location within the text or whether it may float, for example, to the top of the next page, into the next column, to the end of a logical file, or within a separate window. The mimetype attribute may be used to identify a file type for a <supplementary-material> element.

Conversion Note: <supplementary-material> may contain a preview image (e.g., the first frame of a movie, tagged as a <graphic> or <media>), with the caption/preview placed in a manner similar to a Figure and a cross-reference made to the material from the text.


alternate-form-of Alternate Form of Graphic, Media Object, Etc.
content-type Type of Content
id Identifier
mime-subtype Mime Subtype
mimetype Mime Type
position Position
xlink:actuate Actuating the Link
xlink:href Href (Linking Mechanism)
xlink:role Role of the Link
xlink:show Showing the Link
xlink:title Title of the Link
xlink:type Type of Link
xml:lang Language
xmlns:xlink XLink Namespace Declaration

Related Elements

This Suite contains several elements to describe non-XML material: <graphic>, <inline-graphic>, <media>, and <supplementary-material>. The elements <graphic> and <inline-graphic> are used for “still” images, i.e., photographs, diagrams, etc. The distinction between the two other elements is more subtle. The element <media> should be used for video, audio clips, time-dependent graphic types, and all moving images in other media formats where the material is intrinsic to the content, that is, the media object is discussed within the text or essential to the message of the text. The element <supplementary-material> should be used for films, audio clips, or other moving material or non-XML formats which enhance or supplement a document, but that are not discussed as part of the document or essential to the conclusions of the text. Such supplementary material could include the datasets or spreadsheets on which the textual conclusions are based.

See <inline-supplementary-material> for a simpler form that can be used to mark up text references to supplementary material where the reference appears in the regular flow of the text and does not have a preview image or separate caption.

Model Information

Content Model

<!ELEMENT  supplementary-material
                        %supplementary-material-model;               >


The following, in order:

This element may be contained in:

<abstract> Abstract; <ack> Acknowledgments; <app> Appendix; <app-group> Appendix Group; <article-meta> Article Metadata; <body> Body of the Article; <boxed-text> Boxed Text; <disp-quote> Quote, Displayed; <floats-wrap> Floats Wrapper; <gloss-group> Glossary Group; <glossary> Glossary Elements List; <named-content> Named Special (Subject) Content; <notes> Notes; <p> Paragraph; <ref-list> Reference List (Bibliographic); <sec> Section; <trans-abstract> Translated Abstract

Tagged Example

<fig id="F1">...</fig>
<supplementary-material id="S1" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"
xlink:title="local_file" xlink:href="1471-2105-1-1-s1.pdf"
<label>Additional material</label>
<p>Supplementary PDF file supplied by authors.</p>
<p>RNAPs seem to have arisen twice in evolution
(see the <inline-supplementary-material
xlink:title="local_file" xlink:href="timeline">
Timeline</inline-supplementary-material>. A large
family of multisubunit RNAPs includes bacterial
enzymes, archeal enzymes, eukaryotic nuclear RNAPs,
plastid-encoded chloroplast RNAPs, and RNAPs from
some eukaryotic viruses ...</p>